What a year! A year that is likely to be remembered in history for a long time. A year of political upheavals, untimely deaths of prominent people, contentious US electioneering, immigration protests, starving children in war zones, Fidel Castro, new technology changing news reporting, President Trudeau of Canada, Mexicans causing trouble, Russia threatening neighbouring countries, Olympic success in the Americas and a change in the world order. Yes, 1968 was certainly a year of momentous events.

How do I remember 1968? It was a year of teenage fun, friends, love and great music. I can remember the news stories, but overall I would say 1968 was a great year.

If you were to ask me about 1974, 1987, 1991 and 2013, I would say that they were not happy years, though I know there were many happy times in those years. You may recall them as being good ones for you.

2016 will be memorable for many reasons, but all I read and hear is what an awful year 2016 has been. Really? Will Andy Murray and all the Olympic medal winners in Rio think it’s been a terrible year?

In January I wrote about the York floods and there’s no doubt that whatever 2015 had been like for those people whose homes were flooded, it finished traumatically for them. 2016 will have started badly, but I wonder how they will reflect on this year on New Year’s Eve. Will all 366 days have been bad ones? Will there be days when they can recall happier moments, however small?

It’s very easy to become dragged down by the doom merchants and negativity. It’s important to put events of this year into perspective. Reading a book about 1968 has helped me do this.

A helpful exercise at the end of each day is to write down five simple pleasures to be thankful for. As we leave this interesting year behind, it will be beneficial for us all to recall those times of happiness and pleasure that we have experienced this year. There will be many more than five.

With my glass half full, I say ‘Cheers’ to you all. Bring on 2017. (Seat belts on!)

- Rita Leaman is a psychotherapist and writer who lives in North Yorkshire. As Alison R Russell, she is the author of ‘Are You Chasing Rainbows?’ www.chasingrainbows.org.uk She also writes a blog on emotional health: http://alisonrussell275.blogspot.co.uk